by: Matthew Quiroz [ ]
Originally published on:
The "Betty" had a long range and high-speed at the time of its introduction. However, it was most known for its poorly-protected aviation gasoline tanks - that earned her the derisive monikers "one-shot lighter", "flying Zippo" and "flying cigar" from Allied fighter pilots. Similarly, pilots of the Imperial Japanese Navy called Betty "Type One Lighter". This was due to the fact that on many occasions, it was used for low-altitude torpedo attacks that diminished its performance advantages. The “Betty's” relatively-large size made it a large target to shoot at and the simplified approach path on a torpedo run to attack a ship, meant for a generally easy interception. When used for medium to high altitude bombing against stationary targets like a supply depot, seaport, or airfields, "ease of interception" was another matter entirely. Using its long range and high speed, the "Betty" could appear from any direction, and then be gone before many fighters could intercept them. The twin 20mm canons in the tail turret was much heavier armament than commonly installed in bombers, making dead astern attacks very dangerous. Sometimes, assuming they didn't catch fire in the first place, Betty’s also proved to be able to remain airborne despite being badly shot up. For example, after 751 Kokutai's attack during the Battle of Rennell Island, three out of four survivors (of eleven aircraft that went to attack) returned flying on one engine only. Near the end of the war the "Betty" was used as a common kamikaze-carrying & launching platform, and was the usual aircraft for carrying the Ohka kamikaze rocket- aircraft. **
**Per Bookrags.com on the G4M2 Betty
The KitHasegawa’s limited re-release of the G4M2A Betty bomber was a welcome addition for this modeler. The kit is molded in Hasegawa’s familiar medium gray styrene on fourteen sprues containing approximately 160 parts and one clear sprue with eighteen clear parts. There are six parts that aren’t used that are shaded out on the well printed instructions. Construction takes place over thirteen steps and is easy to follow. There is a brief history of the Betty listed on the front page of the instructions.
Overall molding is excellent with panel lines being recessed and consistent throughout. The cockpit is pretty plain, but what is there is well done. It could be spruced up a wee bit with the addition of some belts for the seats. Tires for the main landing gear are pre-flattened to indicate weight. To my eye it seems to be excessive. Your mileage may vary. The kit provides the builder the option to equip the plane with either a single type 91 torpedo or two 250kg bombs in the centerline bomb-bay. The bomb bay has the option of being displayed opened or closed. In regards to the bombs and torpedo, they are assembled from four individual pieces to make up the main components. This strikes me as odd, and the possibility to misalign things is evident due to the number of parts being used. Why they were molded this way when they could have just as easily been molded in two halves is a mystery. Maybe it is due to the molding limitations when the kit was initially released. Others may know more.
Both aircraft feature a prominent antenna mounted in the center of the glass nose. The kit supplied item is oversized for the scale and would be better represented in smaller diameter material be it photo-etched brass, or even styrene. The engines are adequate as is, or the builder may wish to add plug wires to them to jazz them up a bit. Continuing with the engines, they are made up of top and bottom nacelles, and a front cowl ring; again it is unknown why they were done this way as opposed to a single piece cowling. The builder should take care when assembling this area to ensure proper alignment of all the pieces. Separate exhaust stacks are provided as are cowl flaps. There are a lot of parts to build up the engines, but luckily the props are molded as a single piece and not four individual blades attached to a backing plate.
The forward portion if the green house canopy as well as the tail section are made up of multiple pieces being split into left and right halves with an end capping piece. This will make alignment tricky so take your time here. The framing on the clear parts are well done and distinct enough to make masking this beast easier, but pre-cut masks may be the way to go with this one. It reminds me of an He-111 canopy. With this much glass visible, plan to spend a significant amount of time with this aspect of the build. Weapons for the waist stations, turrets, nose and tail sections are provided and don’t appear as clunky as most weapons in this scale seem to.
Painting and decaling options are limited to two aircraft:
• 762nd Naval Flying Group. Overall dark green which is featured on the box-art.
• 1081st Naval Flying Group. Dark green over gray.
Paint call outs are listed for GSI Creos Aqueos Hobby Color and Mr. Color paints.
Overall this appears to be another nice limited re-issue offering from Hasegawa. If you are a fan of large, multi-engine Japanese aircraft this should satisfy your need. There are a few hiccups with the kit, but nothing that should be a show stopper for the average modeler provided they take their time with the build.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.